Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Marble Cupcakes

I recently baked some banana cupcakes for a baby shower, but I felt like I should also bake some cupcakes that were a more traditional flavor to take along as well.  That's where Martha Stewart comes in.  I baked her marble cupcakes.  They were fine, but nothing memorable or spectacular.  These are versatile and can be covered in a variety of icings.  I chose to use a chocolate icing and added some matching decor.

From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes


1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper lines. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk and cream.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture, and beating until combined.

3. To make chocolate batter, measure out 1 cup batter, and transfer to another bowl. Combine cocoa and the boiling water in a bowl. Stir into reserved 1 cup batter.

4. Fill prepared cups with alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter, filling each three-quarters full. Run the tip of a paring knife or wooden skewer through batter in a figure-eight motion to make swirls. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops are golden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

For some reason, my husband and I have been doing a terrible job of eating bananas before they become overripe.  I have developed a habit of tossing the overripe bananas into the freezer, intending to use them at a later date for some unknown purpose.  The bananas are taking over, so I have drawn the line.  No more bananas can be added to the freezer supply!  Luckily, there was a baby shower at work just as my bananas were approaching that deliciously overripe stage.  I decided to make banana cupcakes for the shower and they turned out to be quite tasty.  I used a cream cheese icing, but you could also use vanilla or chocolate.  These cupcakes would also be good with a handful of mini chocolate chips thrown into the batter as well.

Adapted from allrecipes.com


1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. For the cake: In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, bananas, and buttermilk. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add flour mixture to banana mixture until just combined. Pour batter into 18 paper-lined muffin cups until cups are two-thirds full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Remove from oven, let stand for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and cool on a wire rack.

3. For the icing: Beat softened cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.  Ice cupcakes only after they have cooled completely.